Being an unemployed IT contractor

Unemployed IT Contractor - advice
Unemployed IT Contractor - advice

Unemployed IT Contractor

This article, about bening an Unemployed IT Contractor, was posted as Comments by a reader. It was in response to an article of ours.

We have a whole section with similar stories of despair.

Chasing Jobs

Most of my so called free time is spent being glued to a laptop and chasing jobs that don’t exist from agencies that don’t give a bean about my emotional welfare or livelihood.

Then my life is kept on hold whilst I wait for that elusive interview that is supposed to happen next week, and then very often doesn’t. That’s usually because ‘the funding hasn’t been decided’ or ‘the role was filled internally’

At least, between IT contracts, I can get up late and watch TV in the mornings. That’s some consolation, I suppose.

Unemployed IT Contractor
Unemployed IT Contractor – the trials and tribulations

Cap in Hand

As an IT contractor you still have to go cap in hand on a number of issues. You can’t just walk away from a contract, or go off on leave without permission. If you did that, you’d be terminated without hesitation.

As for your comment ‘it does what it says on the tin’ regarding notice periods. Well what rubbish. Client companies make their own rules up over notice periods, irrespective of what they signed up to with the agency.

Agencies will rarely challenge clients who circumvent the notice terms, if it’s not in their own best interests to do this.

Enslaved like Permies

The truth is that we are as much ‘enslaved’ as our permie counterparts – but in a different way.

The only difference between contractors and permies is that contractors don’t fool themselves into thinking they have financial security for their future, whereas permies do.

IT contractors also tend to ride an emotional rollercoaster more often too, being let down with failed interviews, contracts that don’t work out, etc.

Long Term Unemployed
Long Term Unemployed IT Contractor

On the other hand, permies pay for their imaginary sense of stability with boredom, office politics and a managed career path.

No Secure Jobs

The reality is that no one is secure – whether permie or contractor. We’re all on a month’s notice (if we get it, that is!) whether we’re permie or contractors.

There are only two really distinct groups in the working world – non-executive owners who live off unearned income, and the majority who trade their own time for money in order to survive.